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Let’s brand the Adirondacks

May 26, 2011
Editorial by the Adirondack Daily Enterprise: Publisher Catherine Moore, Managing Editor Peter Crowley

Recent discussions in columns and blogs by Brian Mann of North Country Public Radio, Will Doolittle of the Post-Star and Ernest Hohmeyer in the Enterprise discussed finding a brand for the Adirondacks. Some believe we should brand our individual towns that come with a host of unique aspects that would attract visitors. Others believe marketing with a unified effort of a network of our political leaders, towns and counties would be a more effective plan.

Several years back, Lake Placid's visitors bureau did a study that found the Adirondacks were more recognizable than Lake Placid among visitors. This was a surprise for many who thought the town was world-renowned for the 1932 and 1980 Olympics; however, in reality many were too young to remember the 1980 Olympics, perhaps only remembering the Disney movie "Miracle." The same can be said of the historical importance of Saranac Lake, where famous people came to cure from tuberculosis or vacation on the Upper Lake, or Tupper Lake with its Big Tupper Ski Area.

The Tri-Lakes villages of Tupper Lake, Saranac Lake and Lake Placid complement each other. Each is surrounded by natural wonders, luring adventurous spirits to its individual and unique attractions. One would wonder if each would thrive if they were located miles apart? That's why branding our towns with a unified message of the Adirondack name would be more recognizable to potential visitors.

The Adirondack Park is unique, like no other in the world, dependent on an old balancing act of protecting wild lands and helping people live and work in this natural paradise. Yes, it is rough, rugged and remote, but that is what many seek out for adventure, tranquility and a sense of being somewhere that's real.

We have talented minds among our chambers of commerce, businesses, government entities, nonprofit groups and media companies to convey a unified message stronger and more efficiently than individual communities could tout their assets. We need to dust off the brand of twigs and birch bark and collectively promote what draws visitors here today.

The Park already has established colors: brown and yellow. Forest green and blue would be our secondary colors, reminding us of our forests and waterways. That's a start.

What about a slogan or an icon? "The Adirondacks: Go Wild" was the suggestion Will Doolittle ended his column with; we think that's pretty good. "The Wild Side of New York" is similar to Saranac Lake's former slogan, "The Green Side of the Big Apple." Instead of a bumper sticker saying, "I (heart) NY," we could have, "I like the Adirondacks" with an icon of a hand with its thumb up.

But what about your ideas? Get your creative juices going, and think of slogans, graphics or symbols that could be used in branding the Adirondacks. So far there's no agency working on this project that you could submit your ideas to, but if you submit them to us in the form of letters to the editor or artwork, we'll publish them here on the Opinion page. Getting ideas out there in the public eye is the first step.



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